The Crossing Places, 1

The Crossing Places, 1

3.9 (36,269 ratings by Goodreads)
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The first entry in the acclaimed Ruth Galloway series follows the "captivating"* archaeologist as she investigates a child's bones found on a nearby beach, thought to be the remains of a little girl who went missing ten years before.

Forensic archeologist Dr. Ruth Galloway is in her late thirties. She lives happily alone with her two cats in a bleak, remote area near Norfolk, land that was sacred to its Iron Age inhabitants--not quite earth, not quite sea. But her routine days of digging up bones and other ancient objects are harshly upended when a child's bones are found on a desolate beach. Detective Chief Inspector Nelson calls Galloway for help, believing they are the remains of Lucy Downey, a little girl who went missing a decade ago and whose abductor continues to taunt him with bizarre letters containing references to ritual sacrifice, Shakespeare, and the Bible. Then a second girl goes missing and Nelson receives a new letter--exactly like the ones about Lucy.

Is it the same killer? Or a copycat murderer, linked in some way to the site near Ruth's remote home?

*Louise Penny
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Product details

  • Paperback | 320 pages
  • 132 x 201 x 23mm | 249g
  • Boston, MA, United States
  • English
  • Reprint
  • Maps
  • 0547386060
  • 9780547386065
  • 120,289

Flap copy

A winning debut The first-rate characters and chilling story are entrancing from start to finish.
Kirkus Reviews, starred review

When she s not digging up bones or other ancient objects, quirky, tart-tongued archaeologist Ruth Galloway lives happily alone with her cats in a remote area of England called the Saltmarsh, land that was sacred to its Iron Age inhabitants not quite earth, not quite sea. When a child s bones are found on a desolate beach nearby, Detective Chief Inspector Harry Nelson calls Galloway for help. Nelson thinks he has found the remains of Lucy Downey, a little girl who went missing ten years ago. Since her disappearance he has been receiving bizarre letters about her, leters with references to ritual and sacrifice, some even including quotes from the Bible and Shakespeare.
The bones turn out to be two thousand years old, but Ruth is soon drawn into the Lucy Downey case and into the mind of the letter writer, who seems to have both archaeological knowledge and eerie psychic powers. Then another child goes missing, and the hunt is on to find her. As the letter writer moves closer and the windswept Norfolk landscape exerts its power, Ruth finds herself in completely new territory and in serious danger.
The Crossing Places marks the beginning of an exciting new crime series featuring an irresistible heroine.
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Back cover copy

Ruth Galloway is a captivating amateur sleuth an inspired creation.
Louise Penny, winner of the Anthony and Agatha awards

When the hole is almost free from water, Ruth s heart starts to beat faster. Carefully she scoops out another beakerful of water and only then reaches into the mud and exposes something that is pressed flat against the dark soil.
Well? Nelson is leaning eagerly over her shoulder.
It s a body, says Ruth hesitantly, but
Slowly she reaches for her towel. She mustn t rush things. She has seen entire excavations ruined because of one moment s carelessness. So, with Nelson grinding his teeth beside her, she gently lifts away the sodden soil. A hand, slightly clenched, wearing a bracelet of what looks like grass, lies exposed in the trench.
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Review quote


Winner of the Mary Higgins Clark Award
Winner of the CWA Dagger in the Library Award
Finalist for the Theakston's Crime Novel of the Year Award

"Galloway is an everywoman, smart, successful and a little bit unsure of herself. Readers will look forward to learning more about her." --USA Today

"Elly Griffiths draws us all the way back to prehistoric times...Highly atmospheric." --The New York Times Book Review

"Starring Ruth Galloway, a frumpy, brilliant, hilarious archaeology professor...[Ruth's] adventures and her complicated romantic life, helped sustain me when it felt like there was nothing to look forward to." --Jasmine Guillory, TIME

"Forensic archeologist and academic Ruth Galloway is a captivating amateur sleuth-an inspired creation. I identified with her insecurities and struggles, and cheered her on. " --Louise Penny, author of the bestselling Armand Gamache series

"These books are must-reads." --Deborah Crombie, author of the Duncan Kincaid/Gemma James series

"[Ruth Galloway's] an uncommon, down-to-earth heroine whose acute insight, wry humor, and depth of feeling make her a thoroughly engaging companion." --Erin Hart, Agatha and Anthony Award nominated author of Haunted Ground and Lake of Sorrows

"Ruth Galloway is a remarkable, delightful character...A must-read for fans of crime and mystery fiction." --Associated Press

"Rich in atmosphere and history and blessed by [Griffith's] continuing development of brilliant, feisty, independent Ruth...A Room Full of Bones, like its predecessors, works its magic on the reader's imagination." --Richmond Times-Dispatch

"Lovers of well-written and intelligent traditional mysteries will welcome [Griffith's] fourth book...A Room Full of Bones is a clever blend of history and mystery with more than enough forensic details to attract the more attentive reader." --Denver Post
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About Elly Griffiths

Elly Griffiths' Ruth Galloway novels take for their inspiration Elly's husband, who gave up a city job to train as an archaeologist, and her aunt who lives on the Norfolk coast and who filled her niece's head with the myths and legends of that area. Elly has two children and lives near Brighton. Though not her first novel, The Crossing Places is her first crime novel.
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Rating details

36,269 ratings
3.9 out of 5 stars
5 26% (9,422)
4 45% (16,455)
3 23% (8,409)
2 4% (1,478)
1 1% (505)
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